Silent Song

Ruth Beer
In 2001, after 54 years of harmonious service, the Casavant & Frere organ located in the historic Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Vancouver was retired.
Most of its 1700 pipes were converted to the new Kenneth Jones organ that replaced it in 2004. The remaining old pipes were stored by a parishioner.
Silent Song, is a reincarnation of its former self. Intended to evoke remembered sounds, it can be considered a metaphor for the harmony of the many voices joined together over the years.
Project Year
refurbished organ pipes, gold leaf
Vancouver, BC Canada
Commissioned By
Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver
Project Status
Detail of the gold-foiled mouths of the organ pipes
Charlotte Wall and co-artist Ruth Beer were commissioned by Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver’s oldest church, to help create a space of quiet contemplation. Upon learning of the old organ pipes, the artists were determined to use these historic artifacts as the material for the construction of the commissioned piece.
“The wood was left intact, and only slightly oiled. The mouth of each pipe - where the sound is produced - was however, layered in gold leaf; creating a soft, sublime glow. A composition of 20 pipes was placed in a passage to an area within the church designated for quiet contemplation.”
“We were very excited about being able to use the pieces of the the old organ, delving into the transformation of the music that was once played through the instruments.”